The Ideal Home Show at London's Earls Court

The capital is buzzing with shows related to homes...and the biggest of them is the Ideal Home Show, which runs until April 1. Deco's been to see it and there is plenty of good stuff for the green at heart

Future Traditional's winning design in the Prince's House competition

This double villa with a corner shop has been built and fully furnished in Earls Court. It's the winning entry for the Prince's Foundation for Building Community 'Prince's House' architecture competition. Designed by Future Traditional, a partnership between London-based Douglas Adern, Jamie Wallace and Ruaridh Inverarity, it had to meet the brief for sustainability, practicality, durability and comfort. This design is described as a 'paired villa', with a two bedroom house on one side and a shop with a one-bedroom flat above it.

Now in its 105th year, the Ideal Home Show at London's Earls Court is a vast event. It has celebrities, talks, seminars, full-size houses, not to mention hundreds of exhibitors with a huge variety of products for home and garden.

It is relevant to the eco-minded, particularly if you're thinking about home improvements. It's a good chance to talk to experts about solar panels, energy-saving gadgets and equipment, architectural products such as bi-folding doors, and reclaimed wood flooring, to name but a few hot topics.

What is good about the show is the range of full-size houses built in the centre, which you can go inside. The Prince's Foundation chose Future Traditional's double villa with a corner shop as the winner of the Prince's House concept award. The design has been built to an high eco spec, with natural and or recycled materials used throughout, such as newspaper wall insulation, FSC timber and VOC-free paints. You can walk in the house, which has been styled by House Beautiful.


Interior of the Prince's House which has been styled with products
Kitchen area of the Prince's House competition's winning design



Architect George Clarke
Alan Titchmarsh

There's also the Low Cost Living House (in partnership with the Green Deal), which demonstrates the merits of open-plan living. The 2,000 sq ft house forms part of a collection of homes from Sweden's second largest development company. It's been styled inside by Sophie Wyatt and features a mix of furniture sourced from antique markets and the high street.

For a bit of fun, architect George Clarke has built a small flat designed to look like Del Boy's '70s Peckham flat in Only Fools and Horses on one side of a hallway, and across from it he's created a modern space-saving flat covering the same amount of space. Clarke wants to demonstrate how furniture such as pull-down beds, collapsible tables and fold-away desks can make life in a small flat a lot more pleasant. 

And then there's the Quiet House of the Future, a concept by Quiet Mark, which promotes quiet products from kettles to planes.

No show is complete without some of those nice people off the telly...and as well as George Clarke, you'll have the chance to see and hear, if not shake hands with, Laurence Llewellyn Bowen, Masterchef's Greg Wallace, gardener Alan Titchmarsh and money saving man Martin Lewis.

A weekday adult ticket costs £12 and you can book online. Opening hours are 10am-6pm.